Once upon a time there was a girl who loooooved the holidays. She loved the decorating and cooking. She couldn’t wait to wrap and bake. She enjoyed every part of the holidays: the smells, the planning, the parties, the crafting. She loved it all! When The Holiday Girl grew up she had lots of babies. At first she had them one at a time. Three little boys came all in a row. Thankfully, her babies loved to snuggle so she’d wear them close to her heart and still get to enjoy her favorite time of the year. One cold February day The Holiday Girl got the best Valentine’s Day surprise ever! She found out she was having twins! Twins could only make the holidays better! She thought about tiny pilgrim hats and little stockings. She dreamed of 2 extra place settings at the Thanksgiving table and 2 tiny twin themed Christmas trees. The birth came and went and finally the babies’ first holidays were approaching. The Holiday Girl was beside herself! Oh the plans she had! So much cooking, and crafting, and shopping; she couldn’t even sleep from the excitement. But something odd was happening. The closer Thanksgiving got the more anxious The Holiday Girl became. Where she was usually calm and happy this year she felt overwhelmed and frazzled. Nothing was going as planned. She couldn’t get the shopping done, because the babies wouldn’t settle for a nap. She struggled to finish the adorable placemats she was making because the babies always wanted to nurse. Forget about making extra pies for the older boys’ teachers she was drowning in laundry. The Holiday Girl was sad and grouchy and confused. “Let us help” said her family. “What can we do?” asked her friends. “No and Nothing” The Holiday Girl always replied. She struggled to finish her to do lists and finally Thanksgiving Day came. The Holiday Girl woke up extra early in anticipation of the extra time she would need for the babies. By 10:30 she was sweating and no where close to on schedule. Guests would be arriving and she had no appetizers and was still dressed in her pajamas. This wouldn’t do. This wasn’t the way The Holiday Girl hosted events. Somehow Thanksgiving dinner got made but The Holiday Girl didn’t enjoy cooking it. She was angry to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else was enjoying the day. Somehow she set the table, but The Holiday Girl was so frazzled that she forgot to use the placemats she had fretted over getting done. The dishes were washed and dessert was served, but neither task was done with the usual care and love The Holiday Girl normally completed them with. All she could think about was how much work everything was and how tired she felt. At the end of the day when the house was asleep The Holiday Girl replayed the day in her mind. She realized she hadn’t taken one single picture. She hadn’t noticed how the babies reacted to the house full of people. She hadn’t watched the cousins play together or the grandparents enjoy the new twins. She’d missed everything. She’d missed her babies’ first Thanksgiving. The Holiday Girl realized right then that Christmas would have to be different. And so it was.
I have a confession to make. I’m The Holiday Girl and I missed my twins first Thanksgiving because I wouldn’t ask for help. Looking back I realize that the only time I interacted with the babies that day was when they wanted to nurse. As soon as they were done I passed them to the nearest adult and scurried back to the kitchen. I still cringe when I think about that.
If you are a MoM with new multiples don’t worry! I’ve come up with 4 questions you can ask yourself to ensure you don’t become The Holiday Girl:
- Who can I ask for help? Be creative. Do you know someone with a tween that would like to earn some extra money by wrapping your gifts? Know anyone with teen boys that could pick up a Christmas Tree for you, hang lights, get your holiday décor down from the attic? What about a teenager or young adult who could fight the Thanksgiving crowds and do your grocery shopping for you? Use Facebook as your job board. Post what tasks you’d like help with and see who’s interested. You’ll be surprised who answers.
- What can I give up now and start again later? If you usually host Thanksgiving would someone else mind doing it this year? Advent calendars are adorable and fun, but can be a lot of work to set up. Do you really need to use every box of decorations or could just putting up a tree work for this year? It’s hard not to be emotional when it comes to holiday traditions. It can feel like you’re losing an old friend. Try to remember that the babies will be older next year and you can add back what you missed.
- What shortcuts can I take? Grandma’s sugar cookie recipe is amazing but it’s messy and time consuming. What about Easy Bake cookies this year? Could you order your side dishes from a deli or restaurant? Instead of Christmas Cards with envelopes try postcards – no stuffing When you have infant multiples time is a luxury. Don’t waste it on things that aren’t really important to you.
- Do I have realistic expectations? How much traveling can you reasonably do this year? How many guests can you accommodate? Having more than one infant makes everything more complicated. Be kind to yourselves and commit to doing less than what you feel capable of. When you’re tired and anxious about getting your to do list finished you will be glad you didn’t sign up for more.
The holidays are such a magical time when you have a house full of babies! Keeping things simple and asking for help will make sure that you won’t miss a moment. Enjoy!